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Summary of Medicaid Managed Care Commission Meeting

Posted: November 12, 2013

The Medicaid Managed Care Commission met on Thursday November 7th. Governor Hassan participated in the first portion of the meeting. She spoke as a mother and leader of the State of New Hampshire. She expressed that Managed Care brings incredible opportunities and challenges to the state and lauded it as an opportunity to coordinate care and save money that can be reinvested in the people it serves.

Governor Hassan stated that:

-         Every citizen who receives Medicaid must participate in Managed Care and cannot opt out. She expressed her appreciation of the work of the Commission and is looking forward to them focusing their efforts on Step 2, which will include long-term care services, including the community-based services provided by New Hampshire’s Area Agencies.

 

-         She needs families, consumers, and providers to engage with the Commission. She is relying on them to hear the concerns of consumers. She stated there are real concerns, but that does not allow us to say “I cannot change.” The Governor wants to hold onto what is good, and change what needs to be changed. She clearly stated that we will not move forward until we are ready.

After the Governor left the meeting, Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nick Toumpas stated that Step 1 (medical/acute care services) is slated to go live on December 1st of this year. Within the next week, a readiness review will be conducted to assess if this date is indeed when the Managed Care Organizations will begin. If the system is not ready, the Commissioner stated we will not go live.

The Commissioner had a timeline for Step 2 implementation that he shared with the Commission and those attending the meeting. Prior to going over the timeline, he wanted to provide the context for Step 2 of Medicaid Care Management. He stated the goals for Medicaid Care Management are:

-         To look at the whole person and overall health, not just medical issues.

-         Ensure that services are person centered and community focused.

-         Focus on early intervention, prevention and wellness

The Commissioner distributed a  timeline  for Step 2, with an implementation start date of December 1, 2014. He clearly stated that if more time is needed, he will speak to others to make it happen. He reminded the audience that the original start date for Managed Care was July 1, 2012 and we were not ready and we did not start. In response to questions being asked by the audience, the Commissioner also clearly stated that the Managed Care Organizations are not service providers and by state statue and law, Area Agencies are providers. He said he is not looking to get rid of Area Agencies.

Susan Cambria, Executive Director of CSNI, gave a statement to the Commission articulating  that the Area Agencies are not opposed to managed care, but are opposed to commercial managed care.

The Commission plays a vital role in shaping what Managed Care will mean to individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders who depend on the community-based services provided by their Area Agency.  They will listen to the concerns of families and consumers, ask questions, and make recommendations to the Governor. As the process moves forward, it is important that families respond to opportunities to give their input.

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